Kingston Bikram Yoga
Bikram yoga is hard and it doesn’t fix everything – as Bikram himself would have you think – but it helps. I started Bikram at Bikram Yoga Kingston in 2014 and completely absorbed myself in the yoga lifestyle. I joined all the Facebook groups, read all the blogs on how Bikram was the “ultimate healer” and yes, I drank lots of coconut water.
Simply put, Bikram is a set yoga routine, practiced in a 40-degree room, for approximately 90 minutes. At the Kingston studio the rooms are large enough that the heat doesn’t feel suffocating and dark enough that you don’t feel the pressure of being in a class with 20 or so people. When I practice it’s a very personal experience. Sometimes I come out feeling angry and sometimes I cry. Most of the time though, I feel like I’ve accomplished something that was wholly about me for the day. Some days, the teachers will push me and others they’ll see I’m struggling and let me meditate – yep that’s right, it’s OK to simply lie there and take deep breaths. Bikram in Kingston isn’t about the fad, it about having a true dialogue with your body, and has much less ego attached to it. The studio is located in the heart of the Kingston shops on Air Street and is accessible by both car and bus. With 2 – 4 classes everyday, it’s easy to find a time to go, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to push the boundaries mentally and physically.
Yoga can sometimes seem like a bit of a club, one exclusively for Matcha drinkers. This is, however, not the case at SOULution Yoga Studio on Lonsdale Street, Braddon. SOULution offers Pilates, stretch classes, and a reputable physiotherapy clinic. I haven’t taken all the classes on offer (and trust me, there are many), but I would highly recommend the SOUL Flow. SOUL Flow is a Vinyasa practice and goes for one hour. It’s a faced past class, but not in a way that requires you to know all the classic yoga poses off by heart. It is paced, however, in a way that does push you. You leave feeling relaxed but can also give yourself a pat on the back for doing some exercise. The class stretches and strengthens your muscles in ways I didn’t know was possible, and leaves you with a feeling of fluidity that is like second nature. Don’t worry, at those hard moments there’s relaxing background music to focus on and forget you’re actually exercising. If you’re fit but don’t consider yourself that flexible or “mindful” then this is the class for you. Last tip, the room is 30 – 34 degrees not as hot at Bikram, and though it’s definitely bearable, you need to bring a towel, otherwise it’ll get slippery.
Yoga by Donation
Yoga by donation is taught by the lovely Ed at the ANU Food Co Op (# Kingsley St, Canberra 2601) at 6:30pm every Tuesday. Not only does the Food Co Op bring up the amazing $6 lunches, but they also hold hour long yoga classes which will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated! As the name suggests, you pay with a donation that is collected at the end of the class. The donations is a “pay what you think” style system, and the funds are given to a range of local charities around Canberra – even more the reason to go. I would recommend bringing your own mat, though there are a some available there. The class is suited to all abilities – so don’t be turned off if you’re a beginner. If you can’t commit to an intense and more spenny yoga program, and just want to have a more relaxed experience, this is definitely the deal for you! Especially considering the price, it’s the perfect option for university students, and a great mental escape as the semester builds up.
My only previous experience with yoga had been an app that I had downloaded in a spur of the moment attempt to get my life together. When my friends and I set out to try as many new sports as possible for the least amount of money, however, yoga was a gem we discovered. Hidden within the industrial side of Mitchell is BikramYoga – a studio providing all day sessions of hot-yoga. Bikram Yoga is definitely something I’d suggest everyone try at least once, and with BikramYoga offering a month of unlimited sessions for $40 it can’t hurt to give it a go. Having completed my first month there and signing up to go for more I have been warmly welcomed by all class-goers and instructors. I never thought that one day I’d be excited for 90 minutes of sweat and stretching but the atmosphere and experience that BikramYoga provides I can already see – and feel – the results, and I definitely won’t be giving it up any time soon.